Low-intensity/high volume training raises cortisol levels, reduces testosterone and GH levels, causes harmful oxidation, and can disrupt immune system function and cause whole body inflammation, which is an anathema to any hard-training motherfucker who's ever considered moving into a cave to revel in their hatred of the human race and lift insane amounts of weights while wearing a fur loincloth and banging a similarly-clad cave girl. ( Daly et al, De Vany 100, Faigan 267) If that's not your cup of tea, running might be, as is hemp clothing, "Kumbaya", and any food product composed of soy. Given, however, that low intensity exercise like jogging is our hormonal Anti-Christ, it makes sense that we do what we're really suited to- alternately walking and sprinting. (De Vany 98)
On second thought, there's no reason a cave girl should be clothed at all.
Happily for me, the most metabolically efficient, and natural way to go about running is also about the only way you'll see me run. My personal preference is to go to a track (for ease of timing) and sprint the fuck out of the straightaways, and then walk or do what people in the Army call the "Airbone shuffle", which is essentially simply looking like you're jogging while moving at the pace of a crippled snail. A mile to a mile and a half of that and I'm cashed, but it was interesting, increase my VO2 max far faster than steady state running would have. Additionally, studies have shown that sprint trained athletes maintain a GH level 10 times that of baseline for an hour following their workout, which confers far greater anabolism and protein synthesis than endurance athletes are able to achieve.(Di Pasquale 29)
Sprinter Dwain Chambers seems to have gotten a hell of a lot of anabolism out of his sprinting workouts.
Though my favorite may not be yours, the message remains the same- interval training is eminently superior to steady-state cardio, and there are plenty of studies to prove it. On top of the studies, there's anecdotal evidence- Randy Couture, for instance, long considered the best conditioned athlete in mixed martial arts, doesn't even mention steady state cardio in his training book, Xtreme Training. Instead, he recommends damn near every kind of training but typical endurance fare like jogging. Similarly, and thoroughly surprisingly, Triathlete Magazine's Essential Week By Week Training Guide spends more time detailing and promoting interval training than they do steady-state work, which appeared to be included just so triathletes would know how much it fucking sucks before race day.
- speed- very short, high intensity workouts to increase speed
- lactate- longer, medium intensity workouts designed to increase aerobic capacity
- threshold- longest interval sessions with much lower intensity "sprints" designed to increase overall mental and physical endurance
- power- generally very similar to speed workouts, but with added resistance (either changing the gear on the bike or increasing elevation to build strength
Sprinting does a body good.
If you're interested in interval training, I suggest you read up on it, as it comes in about as many disparate permutations as porn does, and ranges in usefulness in much the same way. I personally love the aforementioned sprint-the-straightaway-walk-the-curves training, in addition to Tabatas and Fartleks (which is simply light jogging over varied distances interspersed with random bouts of sprinting. A reader who trains people for PT tests in the military has a vastly different take, however. He combines running with some type of contrast, threshold runs, and a weekly two mile run (and the sick motherfuckers who liked to participate in 5k runs would replace their 2 mile run with a 5k). The running workouts usually followed a max effort workout, so that all runs were completed while fatigued. The running workouts themselves started with a 1 mile run with different movements during the run...high knee, heel to ass, etc, to work on mobility. After one week of that, he had them run with contrast, so trainees would wear a weighted vest of 25-70 pounds and run a half mile as quickly as possible. Then rest and repeat, totaling 3 half miles. This apparently sucked shit, but was key to improving their 1.5 mile times. He combined this with days of long sprints and optional distance runs to get pretty impressive time improvements in his trainees. His weekly workouts consisted of:
Bench-like movement- sets of 2-6 totaling 30-50 reps
Body weight upper body movement done for what we call ASAP- usually 60 reps DIPS ASAP. so 60x1, 30x2, 15x4, and so on...
ME movement where they would do doubles and eventually just work up to heavy doubles...more of DE day ending with heavy lifts.
Heavy barbell hamstring movement- sets of 2-6 until 30-60 total reps is met. usually we used dimmel dls, rdl, clean pull with shrug, anything like that with a bar.
another hamstring movement for reps- ghr, band legs curls, reverse hypers
"Fatigued run" 2-4 half miles.
Half mile with 40 pound vest for men, 25 for women
ME bench movement-
Barbell movement 2-6 reps
Heavy body weight movement- dips, pushups, hand stand push up...trainees must add resistance and perform 2-6 reps until reaching 30-50 reps
Thurs- Squats and Running-
20, 15, 10 in the back squat and run 400s in between
Box squat- doubles, light
Repeat of Monday
Saturday morning- optional 5k
Although he failed to mention them, I think it's safe to say there were likely handstands and dozens of cameras involved in each workout.
He's gotten tremendous results out of this Crossfit-esque combination of 5/3/1 and running, though I would not recommend it for the average strength trainer, due to the fact that "same day training impedes development more than concurrent day training of strength and endurance."(Zatsiorsky 166) This is due to the fact that the conflicting demands placed on your musculature during a combined endurance and strength training session impede the body's ability to adapt. This, in turn, may lead to a decrease in muscle fiber size, which is a big bag of bullshit. (Ibid) Obviously, for the military types listed above, improving their musculature was not priority number one- endurance was.
Frankly, I could give a fuck about endurance training, as I move quickly through my workouts and detest running. Should you find it absolutely necessary to do some endurance training, make that training intervals, as they kick the fuck out of traditional, steady state cardio... no matter what a pack of filthy, scrawny Indians might have to say otherwise.
... and if you're planning on doing endurance training so you can outrun shit, you might as well make yourself strong enough to beat it with your fists and feet. Bears can outrun you, and can outclimb you as well. As such, spend your time lifting weights and fuck all that running nonsense.
And for those of you who were bitching, fear not. There shall be no more cardio posts. The next two will be a continuation of the Find A Way Forward and one on Captain Kirk.
Couture, Randy. Xtreme Training. 2010.
Daly W, Seegers, Rubin DA, Dobridge JD, Hackney AC. Relationship between stress hormones and testosterone with prolonged endurance exercise. EUR J APP PHYS. 2005 Jan 93(4):375-380.
De Vany, Athur. The New Evolution Diet. 2010.
Di Pasquale, Mauro. Amino Acids and Proteins for the Athlete: The Anabolic Edge. 2nd Ed. Boca Raton: CRC Press, 2008.
Faigan, Rob. Natural Hormonal Enhancement. 2000.
Fitzgerald, Matt. Triathlete Magazine's Essential Week By Week Training Guide. New York: Warner Books, 2006.
Tabata I, Nishimura K, Kouzaki M, Hirai Y, Ogita F, Miyachi M, Yamamoto K. Effects of moderate-intensity endurance and high-intensity intermittent training on anaerobic capacity and VO2max. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 1996 Oct;28(10):1327-30.
Zatsiorsky, Vladimir. Science and Practice of Strength Training. 2006.